For the first time in the 37-year history of the distinguished honor, the National Science Foundation (NSF) today named two individuals — both computer scientists — as joint recipients of the 2012 Alan T. Waterman Award. Scott Aaronson of MIT and Robert Wood of Harvard were honored with the award, recognizing “an outstanding young researcher in any field of science or engineering” supported by NSF. Also for the first time, both Aaronson and Wood will receive $1 million grants over a five-year period to further their research, up from $500,000 awards in recent years.
Aaronson was selected for his research on the limitations of quantum computers and computational complexity theory more generally. Wood received his Waterman for his efforts designing, fabricating, controlling, and analyzing biologically-inspired microrobots and soft robots — including the NSF-funded Expeditions in Computing on RoboBees.
See a video of Aaronson presenting his work at a recent TED conference after the jump…
…and read more about both of this year’s Waterman awardees in NSF’s press release.
The Waterman Award will be presented to Aaronson and Wood at a dinner ceremony held in Washington, DC, on May 3rd. Both awardees also will deliver lectures at NSF.
Congratulations to Scott and Robert!
(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)